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Srinagar court asks Crime Branch to investigate alleged discrepancies in Jal Jeevan Mission tenders

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Srinagar:  A Srinagar court has ordered Crime Branch to investigate alleged malpractice in the tendering process of DI Pipes at Jal Shakti Department, PHE Kashmir.

A criminal complaint was lodged by one Ghulam Qadir Mir against Maneesh Kumar, Senior Vice President (Marketting), Jindal Saw Limited alias Maneesh Kumat, Director, DI SPUN Research and Dvelopment Association (Accused 1) and Development Commissioner (Works), UT Level Purchase Committee, Civil Secretrate, Jammu/Srinagar (Accused 2) alleging that 700 cr rupees Jal Jeevan Mission tenders were influenced.

While hearing the arguments, 2nd Additional Munsif, Judicial Magistrate 1st Class, Srinagar ordered that “in order to ascertain the truthfulness or otherwise of the matter in hand, the same needs to be investigated/enquired into before issuing any process in the matter against the non-applicants/accused persons.”

The complainant has alleged discrepancies in the bidding process undertaken by the accused no. 2. He has alleged that accused no. 1 has committed bid rigging by impersonation as Director of DI SPUN Research and Development Association and through fraud and misrepresentation has attempted to compromise the entire bidding process in their favour.

The complainant further alleged that despite violation of code of integrity of the tender, no action has been initiated by accused no. 2.

While hearing the arguments and pursuing the contents of the application, the judge entrusted the matter to the SHO P/S Crime Branch Kashmir for a detailed enquiry/investigation, especially to determine as to if accused no. 1 impersonated as Director of DI SPUN Research and Development Association and whether accused no. 2 has failed to take action for violation of code of integrity of the bid process, in terms of section 202 Cr. P.C.

The court has asked the Crime Branch for submission of detailed report before it by or before the next date of hearing, which has been fixed on May 10, 2022.

Earlier, the same complainant had approached office of the Chief Engineer Kashmir PHE Department Srinagar, Jal Shakti Department PHE Srinagar with an application under RTI. The applicant had sought answers to several questions about the bidding process.

The applicant has alleged that a letter issued by the DI SPUN Research and Development Association to the office of Chief Engineer Kashmir PHE Department Srinagar, Jal Shakti Department PHE Srinagar, was an attempt to highlight issues with regard to its rival companies with an intention to ensure that such companies do not qualify to participate in any tendering process.

He had alleged that DI SPUN Research and Development Association, behind the veil of a research association, was trying to portray the role of a third-party monitoring agency and trying to influence the concerned department with regard to the selection of specific vested interest third party.

He alleged that the letter of DI SPUN Research and Development Association has been signed by one Muneesh Kumar claiming to be the Director of the association and according to the complainant, the same Muneesh Kumar is also the senior vice president of marketing at Jindal Saw Limited as reflected by the website. Maneesh Kumar is also a director of the Jindal Fitting Limited, an associated company of Jindal Saw limited.

The applicant, in his RTI application, had asked the department whether for adopting such aforesaid practice, Jindal Saw limited should be disqualified from participating in tendering process.

After not getting a response to his satisfaction from the department, the applicant approached the court with a criminal complaint.

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